Housing

Safe Sleep service helping North Devon’s rough sleepers this winter

Salvation Army BarnstapleSalvation Army centre, Barnstaple

Posted on: 6 February 2020

A month into a winter shelter project for the homeless, North Devon Council are reminding the district’s rough sleepers to take advantage of the service during this cold weather.

The Safe Sleep project opened its doors at the Salvation Army on 2 January, with the aim of providing a warm and safe place for up to 20 rough sleepers. The service will provide refreshments and a warm bed up until 31 March this year, ensuring that homeless people from the North Devon and Torridge districts are able to choose to sleep in a secure, warm and dry place during the cold winter months.

Along with providing a free and safe place for homeless people to sleep, the project enables individuals to establish and maintain relationships with welfare professionals from a range of government and voluntary organisations. This support enables homeless individuals to overcome common obstacles to finding accommodation – such as lack of I.D. or a rental deposit – and creates an environment in which people are able to help themselves by accessing the necessary assistance to reintegrate with the community and find homes.

During January, the service offered 216 bed spaces of accommodation, with 29 different people approaching the service for support. Of these individuals, seven have now been housed or, through negotiation, have been able to return to their accommodation.

North Devon Council’s Lead Member for Housing, Councillor Nicola Topham said: “We are so pleased that Safe Sleep has been able to help some of our district’s rough sleepers, giving them somewhere secure and comfortable to sleep at night and offering the help they need to find a more permanent solution to end rough sleeping and the risks and dangers this presents. We would like to remind anyone without a roof over their head that the centre’s doors are open to them. We would like to thank the Salvation Army, the Food Bank and the team of volunteers for their ongoing support, as well as the public for the generous donations they’ve made.”

If you believe you are at risk of becoming homeless, get in touch with North Devon Council as soon as you can on 01271 388870 or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk.

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